Unique Bella caps huge weekend for champion sire Tapit

Six winners, three stakes winners, in three-day span

Champion Unique Bella wins the Clement L. Hirsch (G1)
Benoit Photo

Tapit’s champion filly Unique Bella won her second straight Grade 1 in the July 29 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar, securing an automatic berth in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and capping a huge weekend for her sire, who was represented by six winners July 27-29 including three stakes winners, two graded, and a new “TDN Rising Star.”

The three-time leading sire’s big weekend got rolling Friday, July 27, at Saratoga Race Course when Travers Stakes (G1) contender Hofburg, runner-up in the Florida Derby (G1) and third in the Belmont Stakes (G1) this spring, romped to a five-length victory in the Curlin Stakes. The Juddmonte Farms homebred is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winning Empire Maker filly Emollient.

On Saturday, July 28, Tapit’s exciting 2-year-old daughter Chasing Yesterday was named a “TDN Rising Star” after scoring by 4¼ lengths at Del Mar in her career debut. Owned by breeder Summer Wind Equine, Chasing Yesterday is out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma, making her a half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

The Sunday, July 29, Monmouth card yielded another two victories for progeny of Tapit. The fifth race, a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance, went to 3-year-old filly Tapit Today, who rolled to three-length victory for owners William H. Lawrence and Bradley Thoroughbreds.

Later on the Monmouth card, Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony rocketed through the stretch to capture the Oceanport Stakes (G3) for his third graded stakes victory of the season.

July 29 at Del Mar, “TDN Rising Star” Anonymity crushed a classy seven-furlong allowance field by 8¼ lengths. Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, Anonymity is a full-sister to Tapit’s 2011 champion 2-year-old male Hansen.

Two races later, Don Alberto Stable’s Unique Bella—already a multiple Grade 1 winner and 2017 Eclipse champion female sprinter—lost a shoe leaving the gate in the Clement L. Hirsch but nonetheless sped to the lead, set all the fractions in the 1 1/16-mile event, and held off late-charging La Force at the wire. Unique Bella now has nine victories, including eight graded stakes, in 12 career starts.